People in the Midwest are beginning to wonder if winter will ever be over. It’s hard to tell that it’s actually April by looking out the window as snow was falling across the Midwest over the weekend. Flooding caused by melting snow and heavy rains has sent some mid-Michigan rivers over their banks and has closed roadways in several parts of lower Michigan. North of Bay City, Michigan, the Rifle River was 1.5 feet above flood stage and the Tibbabawassee River was 1.3 feet over flood stage. Heavy rains have been overwhelming sewage plants leading to water discharge in several Michigan communities.
The severe weather has kept our cleanup crews working overtime in Michigan, Ohio and Iowa and the predictions for more bad weather this week will only make the challenge of keeping basements dry. The cold weather fronts meeting low pressure systems filled with moisture from the gulf are creating most of the severe weather.
Portions of the Northern Plains will be digging out from deep snow early this week as a storm system is moving across that part of the country. The snowfall will be heaviest in North Dakota where up to 12 inches may fall by Monday evening. The snow is expected to change over to sleet or freezing rain in northeastern South Dakota Sunday while a mix of snow and rain and possibly ice will fall in the Twin Cities of Minnesota before daybreak Sunday.
The Plains and Midwest saw some pretty extreme April weather last week as there were hundreds of reports of snow and over a dozen tornadoes that killed three people. The weather that is being forecast for early this week is very similar with more unwanted snow and the threat of severe thunderstorm activity. The new storm that’s pushing across the Rockies will make its way into the central portion of the country Sunday to result in the threat of heavy snow for the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest.
Severe weather is also going to develop in southern Mississippi due to a warm front that’s moving through the area. As a low pressure system and warm front move across the Mississippi Valley, it will serve as a trigger to produce storms that could bring damaging winds and the ability to spawn a few tornadoes. People living in southern Mississippi are being warned to prepare for possible severe thunderstorms with damaging winds, hail, lightening and heavy rains.
Hundreds of people living in Alma, Michigan were told to evacuate their homes Saturday due to flooding concerns. The Gratiot county community lies on the Pine River which by early Friday was well above flood stage. As water in Alma continued to rise during the weekend’s heavy rains, police and fire officials were going door to door to tell people to get out. They also left notices for those who didn’t answer. There were flood concerns elsewhere in the Great Lakes State as well. In the western portion of that state, back to back storms dropped 4 inches of rain since last Monday, leading to numerous flood advisories and warnings.
The Grand River in Ionia, MI overflowed its banks late Saturday. The county’s fairgrounds are completely covered in water as the river reached 21.7 feet which is seven inches over flood stage. The Grand River is expected to begin dropping on Sunday so that it’s below flood stage by early Monday. That is, if that part of Michigan can avoid being rained on more. The forecast for the new week is for scattered showers and thunderstorms across western and mid-lower Michigan with some areas possibly seeing 2 inches of new rain.